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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY   359

three essential perceptions of object, space and time, and the
sense of past, present and future. Then come the first lessons
in language. As the ball swings back and forward, the mother
sings: "Tick, tack: tick, tacL' Here, there: here, there."
Then she moves the ball up and down, saying the while : " Up,
down." Or, again, she lets the ball rebound from the table, and
accompanies the action with simple talk: " Jump, ball, jump.
See, now the ball jumps." The child imitates the mother and
not only learns to make various sounds, but comes to know the
meaning of words like up, down, in, out, round, etc. At a more
advanced age, wrhen the child is able to recognize the different
animals, the moving ball becomes the symbol of life. As it swings
from side to side, the mother sings : " See how the birdie flies."
Or she puts a small piece of wood on the table and lifts the ball
over it: " Hop goes the dog over the hedge." The variety of
educative games with the ball is endless, and, what is of special
importance from Froebel's point of view, they can be graded to
suit the stage of development which the child happens to have
reached. Even when he is old enough to play with the rest of the
gifts and to join other little ones in. their play the ball still ministers
to his development in new and more complex forms.

Nothing could be simpler and yet more profound than occu-
pations like these. Mothers and teachers may be content to
be ignorant of the obscure philosophy behind the Kindergarten
and its methods, but they can never cease to admire the insight
and resource of the great inventor of educational plays and
games.

5. THE UNIVERSITY OF FRANCE

While Germany was laying the foundations of a noble educa-
tional system on a broad humanism and was striving to make
the individuality of its citizens a source of strength to the State
by means of a liberally conceived public instruction, French
education was following the diametrically opposite course. The
struggle between the claims of individual and State in education,
which in the first decade of the Revolution had been going steadily
in the direction of freedom, ended in a complete victory for
absolutism once Napoleon made himself master. By the law of
1806 and a supplementary decree two years later, the State